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Reality TV April Fool’s Day jokes that should be true

Several April Fool’s Day jokes today have found humor in reality TV, but the truly funny thing is that these stories are all about things that should happen. Consider this: starting with tonight’s American Idol, viewers can vote via Twitter to save one of the bottom two finalists. On this very day in 2009, I joked that Idol would start accepting Twitter votes because …

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Reality TV fans need to listen to Monica Lewinsky right now

Monica Lewinsky, the one-time host of reality dating competition, delivered a TED Talk recently about shame that indicts reality TV as contributing to a dangerous and damaging culture online. It’s a must-watch. In part, she says: “For nearly two decades now, we have slowly been sowing the seeds of shame and public humiliation in our cultural soil, both on- …

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Vanilla Ice uses his arrest to promote his DIY reality series

DIY network star and 1990s icon Vanilla Ice, aka Robert Van Winkle, was arrested yesterday for “burglary residence and grand theft” of patio furniture, a pool heater, and other things from a foreclosed house. After he was released from jail, he initially expressed sadness that the media paid attention, but then used that attention to promote his series, The Vanilla …

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Fresh Off the Boat: memoir turned into “pasteurized” ABC TV

ABC’s sit-com Fresh Off the Boat debuted last night, and became the latest scripted series to find its source material in real life. The series is based on Eddie Huang’s bestselling memoir of the same name, and Huang is also the narrator of the TV show. The show’s opening credits say it was “inspired by the book” …

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The horrifying idea for a George Zimmerman reality show

In an interview with GQ, George Zimmerman’s brother reveals that Keeping Up with the Kardashians was a model for the reality series the family wanted to rehabilitate George’s image after he was acquitted of killing unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. GQ’s Amanda Robb’s must-read story–which says George’s family members, who “pass the time caring for Gladys’s …

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